With urban density, deep socio-economic inequities, and weak public healthcare infrastructure, experts predict Latin America will be particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus is spreading quickly in the region, particularly in Brazil, Chile, and Ecuador. Latin America already faces glaring health disparities, with over 50% of the population unable to access health care. Heavily reliant on tourism and commodity exports, the economic response and recovery may be resource-limited. National responses to COVID-19 have varied, including denial of the severity of the virus, forcing mayors to make hard choices about how to keep their residents safe. What lessons should Latin American cities adopt from the rest of the world to survive this pandemic? Former mayors from Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, and Quito share their insights on Latin American cities’ responses, their biggest concerns, and their recommendations for the path to recovery.
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